Deaf Truck Drivers Wanted to Apply for CDL Exemption

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) launched a new effort in its ongoing advocacy on behalf of drivers who are deaf and hard of hearing and who wish to obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs). The United States Department of Transportation (DOT), through its regulations, has long required individuals seeking CDLs to satisfy Physical Qualification Standards before becoming eligible to receive a CDL. 
 
These Physical Qualification Standards include a requirement that drivers prove they can “first perceive a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid” or “not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid . . .” in order to obtain a CDL. See 49 C.F.R. § 391.41(b)(11). As a result of this regulation, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing have long been unfairly barred from driving commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. 
 
In recent months, the NAD met with the DOT and reiterated its long held view that there is no basis for excluding people who are deaf and hard of hearing from obtaining CDLs. Click here to see text of the NAD Letter to the Department of Transportation from December 22, 2010. (see PDF link next line)
 
 
In addition to advocating for the complete removal of the hearing requirement, the NAD is focused on helping qualified drivers who would like to operate Class B commercial motor vehicles without airbrakes obtain exemptions from the DOT’s Physical Qualification Standards. 
 
The NAD is currently identifying highly qualified drivers with a strong record of safety who can pave the way for DOT to grant exemptions to drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing. If successfully implemented, this program will allow drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing to obtain the CDL necessary operate Class B commercial motor vehicles without airbrakes and without passing a hearing test. If you are unable to pass the DOT hearing test and would like the NAD to help you apply for an exemption to drive a Class B commercial motor vehicle without airbrakes, please contact us for more information.
 
 
Click here for more information about the NAD effort to obtain exemptions for Class B commercial driver’s licenses for deaf and hard of hearing people. (see link next line)
 
 
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6 comments for “Deaf Truck Drivers Wanted to Apply for CDL Exemption

  1. April 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Hi my name is Hal Pena i am hard of hearing and i do have cdl lic. one time my teacher once said that i cannot drive all over the united state, i have to do intra. Only drive in state only…is that true???

  2. Don K
    May 31, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    I have a Class A CDL and have been driving for a major carrier for over a year. I am profoundly deaf with over 90% loss in both ears. I do have a cochlear implant in my left ear, which was critical in my being able to pass the hearing test. As far as I know, i’m the only “profoundly deaf” truck driver in Texas. feel free to email me if you have any questions.

  3. February 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    hey I fax paperwork to Nad a month ago,state of Indiana took my class A cdl been driving since 1993 with hearing loss, on my record have to wear aid to drive.been dealing with hearing loss since after birth, I need help,ear doctor said he wont, help the clinic, where had to go didnt take my hearing doctors test with was on file with state it was good up to date CDL-PLY, Now voided my other CDL-PLY till this doctor signs off, this was for truck driving job, not working, have no money at 52 age, can I get a waiver, my driving record is great, never had problem due my hearing loss in my car or big truck, please is there help,I lost my house, now something I love cant do truck driving….

  4. April 2, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    BEEN CALLING AROUND THERE IS NO HELP EVERYONE PASSES THE PUCK FOR HARD OF HEARING CDL ONLY SOME STATES WAIVERS FOR CDL-PLY, MY STATE NOT ONE, HOPE AND WISH TOTAL DEAF GET BETTER HELP, WOW REALITY CHECK ALL THESE PLACES FOR HARD HEARING OR DEAF WHAT A WASTE,ALL THAT MONEY TO DO NOTHING,I NEEDED HELP NOT THERE JOB AND THEY DONT KNOW ANYTHING. THEN THEY E-MAIL FALSE STUFF, WHO LOOKS OVER OR CHECKS ON THEM. I NEED A JOB ANSWERING PHONE ,SAY I CANT HELP YOU, DONT KNOW WHO CAN. WHAT DO THEY DO? NO ONES CALLED ME BACK. GREAT STATE OF INDIANA NO GOOD, THAT NICE WORD. EVERYONE NEED TO UPGRADE ON THINKING,WORK HARDER ON ANSWERS OR INPUT I KNOW THAT,I CAN HELP OR WILL FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN, SAD NO HELP, NO INPUT,NO UPGRADE ,DONT KNOW,YOU ALL GET F MEANS YOU FAILED. NO WORK, NO HELP,YES PAY CHECK ….

  5. Derek st.john
    May 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Hey my name is Derek iam 20 years old now but in September 17 iam going to be 21 and I want to drive otr trucks but iam deaf in my right since birth can I get a cdl a license or would I have to do intrastate I need answer no body knows the answer please help me I want to be a truck drive I need to know if I would beable to pass the dot physical

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